We have been working hard to produce compelling visual stories on social media. Here, we consolidate insights from our ongoing efforts to bring you 9 ways to engage your Singaporean audience effectively on Instagram. If it works for you too, let us know!
Composition and Framing
1. Use a camera that allows you to control aperture and shutter speed.
Details matter — invest in a camera that provides control over aperture and shutter speed to make photos that are bright and sharp. Close ups of subjects (or products) pop when there is a shallow depth of field. Also consider motion graphics when you make visuals. Videos (and cinemagraphs which we love a lot) capture attention and are known to effectively engage people. If pictures speak a thousand words, motion graphics move a thousand people.
- The snap makes use of a shallow depth of field to make the Macaroons pop:
- This cinemagraph showcases an inspired experience to attract prospective visitors to a hotel:
2. Find natural light. Lots of it.
When you capture your subject, always ensure that the primary source of light is cast on your subject from the front or side, never from behind. Find light that is soft to give your subject a natural glow.
- This snap shows how light, when cast from the side, ensures a well-lit subject:
3. Maintain a consistent filter and voice.
Define a consistent mood and voice for your brand/business to reinforce the identity of your brand online. Applying a consistent filter on your photos also helps.
4. Place your product alongside lifestyle elements.
Show how your product is relevant to the lives of your audience by laying the product next to elements that are directly related how the product can be experienced in real life. For example, pair the restaurant’s signature steak with a glass of wine, a platter of cheese, and a sprig of rosemary, or lay a citrus-infused skin care product beside real lemons and soft fabric of complementary palettes.
- A flat lay that shows how you can place your products with other elements of life to bring a sense of reality and application:
- A human hand or a spontaneous action that amplifies life:
Tag your posts with relevant, active hashtags that are regularly updated by the community. For example, food photos can be tagged with #sgfoodies or #sgcafe to ensure that your content can be discovered. Instagram allows for up to 30 hashtags by a single user in a post and its thread. We think using 3 to 10 tags would usually suffice. To prevent the deluge of hashtags from annoying your audience, post your tags as the first comment of your post.
6. Be contactable.
The only place where you can link a website to your instagram handle is the profile section. Make use of that space to provide contact information and a link to your website. Give a concise description of the work that your company does in a sentence or two, and you will grab potential customers whenever they come calling!
7. Publish at night.
Conventional wisdom and general literature urge marketers to post at different times of the day to reach different audience groups. However, content that we produce for different brands receive the highest engagement at night. Specifically content that we publish between 8pm and 10pm receive the most number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’. We attribute this trend to the fact that more Singaporeans are online after dinner and just before they rest for the night than any other times of the day.
On a related note, respond to every comment and tag promptly. Take a personal, but still professional, voice. Your followers will appreciate that you are real, spontaneous and un-pretentious. Your role here is to make friends with your consumers, not sell them something at every opportunity.
8. Go easy on contests.
You want the right eyes on your page— users who are receptive to and excited about your content rather than a community of contest junkies eyeing some freebies. So develop a culture of showcasing meaningful consumer experiences, and you won’t need to ‘bribe’ anyone to like and follow your page.
9. Build organically, if you can.
We are advocates of organic first, paid second. We build value around cultivating communities of prospective and existing consumers who are following you because the stories you publish are valuable, and meaningful to their way of life. Once you are able to bring insights and relevance to the lives of your consumers consistently, paid distribution can be activated to scale up the size of your community.
- Bring meaning to the lives of your audience and build desirability for your products. Hard sell is no sell on social media:
As of 31 May 2016, Instagram reports that it has an active user base of 610,000 in Singapore, of which 59% are female and 50% are below 24 years old.
To find out how we can help make your content pop, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.